Sunday, March 2, 2008

Magnificent Garden

Mae Fah Luang Garden
สวนแม่ฟ้าหลวง
In 1988, Her Royal Highness Princess Srinagarindra, the Princess Mother, late mother of His Majesty the King of Thailand, initiated the Doi Tung Development Project in the northern most point of Thailand. This project aimed to rehabilitate the forest and the lives of people living in the heart of the Golden Triangle in Thailand. It's because of the all year round flowers, Mae Fah Luang Garden has become the most attractive place for travelers.
A bronze statue entitled "Continuity" is the centerpiece of the landscaped gardens. It depicts a group of children supporting each other in a human pyramid formation as one of them climbs towards the sky. The monument pays tribute to the tireless efforts of HRH the Princess Mother to improve the lives of the people of Thailand and her belief that continuous effort leads to success. In 1993, The Mae Fah Luang Garden was awarded the Pacific Asia Tourism Association's PATA Gold Awards in the 'Tourism Development' category in recognition of its outstanding achievement in the development of a new tourist destination. Frequently described as the most magnificent landscaped garden in the Kingdom of Thailand, and even perhaps, in the Asia Pacific region.

Doi Tung Royal Villa is situated on Doi Tung, at 1,364 meters, one of Thailand's highest peaks. It is the main visitors target as it is the only house of the Princess Mother. Construction of the royal chalet began on December 23, 1987. This two-story mansion exhibits a blend of Swiss and Lanna-style (northern) architecture, surrounded by fantastic gardens.

Camera is not allowed inside the villa, but I have some descriptions. There are "3-D" oil paintings hanging on the interior walls of the chalet that changes in color and graphic as you walk from left to right. The main room filled with many big panels of fine hand-embroidered silk from San Pa Tong District. The ceiling of the reception hall is impressively decorated with symbols of the planets and constellations, with the center depicting the position of the planets at the time of birth of the HRH the Princess Mother, on October 21, 1900.

Galae is the carved wood decoration on roof top, normally seen in many Thai-northern style houses and buildings. It looks like an elegant, sculpted "X" which straddles the roof apex and is a sign of Northern architecture.
กาแล คือ ไม้ประดับยอดจั่วหลังคาของบ้านล้านนาภาคเหนือของเรา มีประวัติ และความเป็นมาหลากหลายอย่าง แต่หากพิจารณาในเชิงช่างแล้ว กาแลนี้เป็นตัวกันไม่ ให้ “อีกา” หรือนกทั่วไปมาเกาะที่กลางจั่วหน้าบ้าน (กลางปั้นลม) ทำให้นกเหล่านั้นไม่มา ถ่ายมูลรดหลังคาบ้านให้เป็นคราบน่าเกลียด จะทำความสะอาดก็ยากเย็น (เพราะว่าอยู่ สูง) ซึ่งชาวบ้านถือว่าเป็นสิ่งอัปมงคล
I was on a balcony outside the former bedroom of the Princess Mother. Such an excellent view.
With P'Fon, my older sister and my official guide.
Thai soldiers on duty at the palace were very friendly.
They even volunteered to take pictures for us.
This is a charming traditional way of northern people to provide drinking water to guests.
The garden sits on a 250 rai plot and 50 kilometers. Mae Fah Luang Foundation, that operates the project, then set about improving the land and with cooperation from the Forest Department, the Provincial Electricity Authority and the Tourism Authority of Thailand it relocated trees 100-400 years old and planted them there, following expansion of Phaholyothin Highway (Chiang Mai-Mae Sai) in 1992. The garden boasts 5,000 trees representing 88 species that were selected carefully from all parts of the country.
The botanical gardens consists of flowerbeds planted with a dazzling variety of flowers and shrubs from all corners of the world; among these, over 70 species of cool climate and temperate ornamental and flowering plants that thrive at high altitude are planted in the midst of native plants, leafy shrubs and perennials.
A variety of orchids
There are pines and the Himalayan wild cherry whose pink flowers bloom in January, decorative plants such as red, pink, white and orange rhododendrons.
A stroll around the gardens is like a walk in the woods with beautiful flowers and tall trees dominating the view. And poppies too, but the species are devoid of resins associated with anesthetic or sedative/addictive properties.
A myriad of flowering plants come into bloom all year round and form a splendid garden that changes with the seasons.
There are many more different types of garden.
It's astonishing to see massive amount of giant size of flowers in one location, all fully bloomed. I think there must be over a hundred plants in all. The size of each flower is almost as big as my head!!!
Close up picture
It also comes in purple.
Could it be more flowers?This amazing indoor nursery looks more like a laboratory. It is where all the plants and trees are originated from.
Mae Fah Luang Botanical Garden opens 7am to 6pm every day. It is on Highway 1149 off Highway 1 (Chiang Rai-Mae Sai). After passing the entrance gate of Doi Tung royal residence, keep driving for another nine kilometres to reach the garden. Entrance fee is 50 baht per person.

Back to Home

All pictures are copy right @ Amie Photography

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, it is a beauty in variety.
Enjoyable, thank you so much for sending the pictures.

PBS

Pracha said...

Amie,

Thanks for the magnificent pictures. GREAT JOB!

Pracha

Pong said...

I went there 4 yrs ago. You are a excellent photographer.

Pong